If you’ve ever attended a writers conference, or if you’ve ever read a book about writing, then you’ve probably heard this phrase: “Write what you know.” That’s exactly what I’ve done. I’m a “gamer,” so I wrote about a game.
I’ve only mentioned strategy gaming in passing on this blog because I want to keep the focus of Tell Better Stories on writing and publishing. That said, I’ve been a “gamer” since middle school. Specifically, I play strategy board games and card games. (I absolutely stink at video games and hardly ever play them. Except for a little Mario every know and then … ) If you don’t know what I mean by ‘strategy games,’ think “RISK” and “The Settlers of Catan” and you’re in the right hemisphere of the gaming world.
The article that was published today is called “New Cube Formats for 2013” and it’s about the strategy card game, “Magic: the Gathering.” In addition to being an article about one specific game, it’s about one specific variation of the game called “cube drafting,” which not even all Magic players play. If you’ve never played Magic, this article won’t make a lick of sense to you.
I say all this to highlight that my article is for a niche within a niche. I believe that is (at least in part) why it was accepted by the editors at GatheringMagic.com. I provided them content that perhaps not every writer could have provided. I tried to give them an interesting take on a niche within the game. (Please don’t hear this as me being cocky. I’m just trying to analyze what I think happened.) It’s highly likely that not everyone who reads their site will care about my article. But I think that’s okay, and I’m guessing they do too. Sometimes specialized articles are exactly what an editor is looking for. It helps them diversify their site for a wider readership.
So this begs the questions: What niche topic(s) can you write about? What topics are out there that you could discuss that maybe only a handful of others could? Are you an expert at furniture upholstery? Do you play Chess like nobodies business? Do an abnormally large collection of customized radio controlled cars? All of these topics (or other niche topics) could be the next subject you write about.
I have a friend who builds a backyard hockey rink every winter. He’s done it for 20 or more years. He’s decided to finally write down everything he knows about it and put it into a book because he frequently gets questions and emails from other backyard rink builders.
What niche do you know? Find the websites that publish articles on that niche and send them your original ideas. It’s a great way to blend your passion for writing with whatever other topic you love.